By including the right information on your invoices will ensure that your clients will have all the information on hand to pay you quickly without delay.
Your Contractor details
The most important element of your invoice will be your contract details. When your client receives your invoice, they should instantly know that it is from you. The best way to make your invoice unique is to create a template that you can use for all your invoices. Ensure that your design includes your Contractor name, address and phone number. By adding a branded logo or icon to your Contactor invoice which coincides with the design on your business card and/or website will reflect your brand and make it easy for your client to distinguish your invoices.
Project / Work Rendered details
Your client details should also appear on the invoice as well as all the details of the project. An individual list of all the work rendered should appear in an itemised fashion. This will ensure that your client will have no doubt as to what they are paying for. Ensure that you include purchase order references, project reference numbers with a detailed description of the work rendered.
A quote for a project signed off by your client needs to be mirrored in the costings of your invoice to them. To ensure that they understand exactly what they are paying for, your invoice should be clear and concise. Each figure should correspond to the details of work rendered as mentioned above. Your costings should always include a breakdown including duration of project, the hourly rate for the project, number of hours worked and the total amount for each item. A subtotal and total amount should appear at the end showing the final amount that needs to be paid to you.
Including a notes section can always be helpful. Specific message can be added for each client. This could be a thank you message or a reminder about upcoming work or any other specific message that your client might appreciate.
It is vital that your invoice clearly states your payment terms. This will ensure that you will be paid in due time and that no delays will occur. The best policy is to include a ‘zero-days’ policy which means that a client must pay you immediately on receipt of your invoice. Legally a client has 30 days in which to pay an invoice after which interest can be charged. This course of action should be included in the contract that was signed by your client before work commenced. If, however, a client does not pay in due course then you can send them an overdue payment notice which should detail when the invoice must be paid to avoid further action.
Your bank details should be clearly visible. You should include your bank name, account number and sort code. This will ensure that your client does not have an excuse and delay payment of the invoice. It will also ensure that your payment can be made easily by the client and reach your account quickly.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.